Sir Thomas Moore It’s disappeared. As his daughter reported, after a hospitalization on January 31, the centenary hero fell victim to the COVID-19 which caused severe pneumonia. Sir Tom Moore, the veteran, queen baronet and music superstar. Sir Thomas Moore, runner, hero, record fundraiser. Sir Thomas Moore, benefactor and philanthropist, artist and traveler and in his own way maître à penser. But who he really was Sir Thomas Moore, the man who was able to enter the collective imagination when he reached one hundred years of life? What was his story? Where did his path that led him from the eighth battalion to Windsor Castle start from? Here’s everything you need to know about him.
Sir Tom Moore: When Was He Born? And where?
Sir Thomas Moore was born in Keighley, in West Yorkshire, an English town of 70,000 inhabitants that looks exactly like an English town of 70,000 inhabitants: humid climate, low houses, few buildings and all the greenery that is needed to take root. So much so that Sir Tom Moore never left here. Born on April 30, 1920 to Isabella and Wilson Moore, she school director, he a building developer, Sir Thomas Moore has always remained linked to his hometown that today mourns its disappearance. Robbie Moore, Member of Parliament for Keighley said today: “Keighley has lost one of its best citizens.” And there is already talk of a plaque in the city to remember its memory.
Sir Tom Moore: the military career.
A happy childhood, schools close to home, a life that seemed devoted to civil engineering. But Destiny had other plans for Sir Thomas and so, for the first time, he changes the cards when Thomas is 20 years old. May 1940, Keighley to 8th Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s Regiment. The journey is long with the body and mind, especially because the Second World War begins knocking on the doors of the United Kingdom with the sound of the Beethoven Fifth chords engraved in the bulletins from the front. The front is a hypothesis but not for Thomas: he becomes a trainer, makes a career and starts traveling. First India, then Myanmar and finally, in 1945, the return to the United Kingdom among Churchill’s tankmen. The discharge, once the conflict is over, is with honor. The war is over. But something in the heart always remains. “War was one thing we did, one thing we lived with and one thing that came home with us.”
Sir Tom Moore: private life, loved ones, children.
The personal story of Sir Tom Moore it is also linked to a great love, that for his wife Pamela. The couple had met after the man’s leave: Tom was taking his first steps as a salesman while Pamela, at the time of their meeting, was an office manager. In his autobiography, Tom talks about love with Pamela as a real love at first sight. From the marriage, from those “happy years”, from the union two daughters are born: Lucy and Hannah. But fate, for the second time, comes knocking on Thomas’s door: at 60, Pamela is diagnosed with dementia with a rapid degeneration of her clinical situation. Her husband’s attempts to keep her with him and look after her are useless. In the torment of man, two years after diagnosis, Pamela is forced to enter a nursing home where she will die in 2006.
Sir Tom Moore: from motorcycle racing to the 100th Birthday Walk.
© Pool / Samir Hussein / Getty Images
The spirit of Thomas Moore has always been that of challenging himself: first as a motorcycle rider (at a competitive level) then with his last, great, undertaking: the 100th Birthday Walk. On April 6, 2020, in the most dramatic moment of the first wave of covid-19, Sir Tom had the intuition that changed his life forever. In view of his 100th birthday, the man decides to open a fundraiser in support of the National Health Service: the goal is make 100 laps of his garden with the walker to raise 1000 pounds. In 4 days the economic objective is reached. The bar is raised, it is aimed at 5000 pounds. Then half a million. Word spreads and Sir Thomas’ walk becomes of national interest: the 100 laps are completed on April 16 in front of the honor guard of the 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment arrived in front of his garden to commemorate the initiative. His response to that honor? “Do another hundred laps” of course. On his birthday, April 30, Sir Tom raised £ 30 million and broke every fundraising record in UK history. From 100 laps to 45 laps: on the occasion of the end of the walk, Michael Ball decided to dedicate to Sir Tom You’ll never Walk Alone sung live during BBC Breakfast. The single from the live, signed by Decca Records with a spoken part by Sir Tom Moore himself, literally shot to the top of the chart becoming number one on the UK Singles Charts turning Sir Tom into the only centenary to ever have had a single at number one of the UK ranking.
Sir Tom Moore and the Queen’s Condolences.
Queen Elizabeth II and Sir Tom Moore
© Pool / Samir Hussein
The photo that transformed Sir Tom Moore’s incredible story into an international case, however, sees her as protagonist: Queen Elizabeth II. In fact, on 17 July 2020, after the interest of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and after a public petition with hundreds of thousands of adhesives, in the square of Windsor Castle, the Queen and Sir Tom met for the conferral of the title of Baronet . Looking at the shot today, with the queen with the sword and Sir Tom in the company of his walker, one cannot help but be struck by the perfect symmetry created by two figures that are the very emblem of dedication to duty: Queen Elizabeth II who even today, in the heart of the pandemic, has never failed in his institutional duties and Sir Tom who, at the age of one hundred, has not given up on making his contribution to the country. And today, on the day of farewell to Sir Tom, it was just that His Majesty to want to offer condolences to Sir Tom’s family, sending a personal message. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Queen Elizabeth II wanted to say that her thoughts and those of the royal family are with Sir Tom’s family honoring “the inspiration he has given to the people of the UK and around the world”.
Sir Tom Moore: a phrase to remember him.
“Life is meant to be lived and I have always believed that age is not a barrier to live it”
Sir Thomas Moore